Powerboaters Unite to Aid Bahamian Hurricane Victims
EDITOR’S NOTE: To make a donation via PayPal, please use the email address:
This donation goes directly to the Hopetown Volunteer Fire Department in Elbow Cay.
Non-PayPal donations should be made to this GoFundMe page.
In the wake of Hurricane Dorian’s devastating wreckage through the Bahamas, a group of speedboat enthusiasts have joined forces to bring much-needed relief to the victims battered by the Category 5 storm.
Kristen Czeczil of Florida and Chuck Stark of South Carolina are two of the individuals spearheading an effort to bring food and supplies to those left homeless by Dorian, which first lashed out at the Northern Bahama Islands and is currently moving toward Florida.
In addition to making major donations of their own, including valuable time and resources, Stark and Czeczil have launched a massive grass-roots effort to gather supplies and have them transferred to the islands by both boat and plane. They are accepting donations at various drop-off locations in South Florida and are using a Facebook page (Relief Efforts for the Bahamas Community) to link to a GoFundMe page, to help you join the relief effort.
Czeczil, a Miami-based chef, active participant on the poker-run circuit and close friend of Windship owner John Woodruff, has been intensively coordinating a fleet of boats, yachts and barges to safely cross to Elbow Cay, an eight-mile-long cay in the Abaco Islands with numerous supplies that are desperately needed by Bahamians to survive. “We’re going to try and just go over there slowly because of the amount of debris in the water, and shifting sands are creating new shoals. We can’t just speed over,” she says. “We are figuring out a game plan now.” In addition to hauling supplies, Czeczil and her craft may need to help evacuate people and move them to other islands. At the time of this writing, more than $200,000 had already been collected by this particular relief effort.
As part of her effort, Czeczil reached out to powerboat aficionado Stark (owner of Palmetto Granite & Design of South Carolina), to facilitate the donation process and begin transporting emergency supplies as soon as this weekend. Both of them have participated in runs to the Bahamas and have friends there whose lives have been devastated by the storm.
“I told her I wanted to put something together to take supplies over there,” says Stark, who along with his wife has been involved in numerous charitable efforts. “We’ve got airplanes, we’ve got boats and other resources. My heart’s in the Bahamas. We’re going to get a plane and take supplies over there and bring a bunch of boats as well. I’m a man of God, and this just comes from the heart. I told my wife that we need to put some stuff together and work with these guys.” Stark is the owner of an Outerlimits 42 GTX powered by 1500 Competition Marine engines, as well as a Midnight Express center console.
Czeczil emphasized that those wanting to donate actual supplies are strongly urged to refer to this list of items that are most urgently needed:
Leather work gloves
Work boots for construction building
Hammers, nails, crowbars, roofing hammers
Staple guns, staples
Chainsaws with no fuel
Generators with no fuel
New fuel canisters
Water purification tablets
Basic medical essentials
If you’re able to donate any of these items, you may do so at the following drop-off locations:
4765 NW 103rd Ave, Bay 21
Sunrise Fl 33351
(Note: You may drop off or ship to this warehouse any day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is secure and manned, and the staff will inventory all items accordingly. This organization is registered with NEMA and recognized by The Bahamas Consulate General, facilitated by National Association of The Bahamas and operated by Synergy Shipping LLC. Its run solely by private, trusted, non-government entities; however, it is government approved and recognized. 100% of proceeds will be hand delivered and inventoried to those affected by Dorian in the Northern Bahamas. All items will be either flown directly to Abaco/GB or will be shipped to Nassau. This location also accepts monetary donations that will go toward supplies and fuel.)
8195 NW 67 St.
Miami, FL 33166
(Note: This above warehouse location is donated by Eugino and Margarita Sanchez)
Plantation Boat Mart & Marina
2359 PGA Blvd. #101
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Allweather Patio Outdoor & Home Furniture
4940 NW First St.
Hialeah, FL 33014
Miami Outboard Club
1099 MacArthur Causeway
Miami, FL 33137
Crook & Crook
2795 SW 27th Ave.
Miami, FL 33133
American Custom Yachts
6800 SW Jack James Drive
Stuart, FL 34997